All roads will lead to the Bingu International Convention Centre – BICC for Malawi’s second presidential debate due to take place on March 29 and April 5, 2019.
Chairperson for a multi-sectoral task force organizing the debates, Telesa Ndanga announced the news in Lilongwe on Monday.
She said the debates will give Malawians an opportunity to examine presidential candidates before the May 21, 2019 polls.
Ndanga who is also the chairperson for Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter said the proceedings will be conducted in both English and Chichewa.
“The 2019 Debates Task force believes that the debates will create a platform for the candidates to openly debate and commit to addressing several policy issues which they will be made to account for once elected into office,” explained Ndanga who was flanked by representatives from other media houses.
In addition, Ndanga said the debates will promote and focus on issues rather than personalities as well as facilitate or promote equal access to main stream national media.
She said, “Past election observer reports show that Malawi’s political environment during elections is characterized by personal issues, religious, and tribal identities as points for gathering support with discussion of critical issues of national importance none existent or pushed to the peripheral.”
However, the task force hinted that not every presidential candidate will participate in the debates as it has developed a criteria to guide the selection process.
Among these criteria include having at least 5% of the 193 seats in the 2014 National Assembly of Malawi as well as proven ability to field no less than 50 % in parliamentary elections and local government across all three regions of the country.
The 2019 debates task force consists of MISA Malawi, other media and some Civil Society Organizations.